Newfoundland and Labrador

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Where is it?

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Geography

    

Location:
Eastern Canada.
Area:
total: 405,212 sq km (156,453 sq mi)
land: 373,872 sq km (144,35 sq mi)
water: 31,340 sq km (12,100 sq mi)
coastline: 38,956 km (24,211 miles)
Bordering Provinces:
Quebec
Elevation extremes:
highest point: Mount Caubvick 1,652m (5,420 ft)
Newfoundland and Labrador is the most easterly province in Canada, and is located on the north-eastern corner of North America. The Strait of Belle Isle separates the province into two geographical divisions, Labrador, which is a large land mass connected to mainland Canada, and Newfoundland, which is an island in the Atlantic Ocean. The province also includes over 7,000 tiny islands. Newfoundland is roughly triangular, with each side being approximately 400 km (250 mi), and has an area of 108,860 km2 (42,030 sq mi). Newfoundland and its associated small islands have a total area of 111,390 km2 (43,010 sq mi). Newfoundland extends between latitudes 46°36′N and 51°38′N. Labrador is an irregular shape: the western part of its border with Quebec is the drainage divide of the Labrador Peninsula. Lands drained by rivers that flow into the Atlantic Ocean are part of Labrador, the rest belong to Quebec. Labrador's extreme northern tip, at 60°22′N, shares a short border with Nunavut. Labrador's area (including associated small islands) is 294,330 km2 (113,640 sq mi). Together, Newfoundland and Labrador make up 4.06% of Canada's area.

    

Population

    

Population:
514,536 (2011)
Largest City:
St. John's: 106,172 (2011)

    

History

    

Human habitation in Newfoundland and Labrador can be traced back about 9,000 years. The Maritime Archaic peoples were groups of Archaic cultures of sea-mammal hunters in the subarctic. They prospered from approximately 7,000 BC to 1,500 BC along the Atlantic Coast of North America. Their settlements included longhouses and boat-topped temporary or seasonal houses. They engaged in long-distance trade, using as currency white chert, a rock quarried from northern Labrador to Maine. The southern branch of these people was established on the north peninsula of Newfoundland by 5,000 years ago. Maritime Archaic period is best known from a mortuary site in Newfoundland at Port au Choix. The Maritime Archaic peoples were gradually displaced by people of the Dorset Culture (Late Paleo-Eskimo) who also occupied Port au Choix. The number of their sites discovered on Newfoundland indicate they may have been the most numerous group of Aboriginal people to live there. They thrived from about 2000 BC to 1,200 years ago. Many of their sites were located on exposed headlands and outer islands. They were more oriented to the sea than earlier peoples, and had developed sleds and boats similar to kayaks. They could burn seal blubber in soapstone lamps.

    

Government

    

Capital:
St. John's
Confederation:
March 31, 1949
Provincial Tree:
Black spruce
Provincial Bird:
Atlantic puffin
Provincial Flower:
Purple pitcher plant
Newfoundland and Labrador is governed by a parliamentary government within the construct of constitutional monarchy; the monarchy in Newfoundland and Labrador is the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The sovereign is Queen Elizabeth II, who also serves as head of state of 15 other Commonwealth countries, each of Canada's nine other provinces, and the Canadian federal realm, and resides predominantly in the United Kingdom. As such, the Queen's representative, the Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador (presently Frank Fagan), carries out most of the royal duties in Newfoundland and Labrador.

    

Economy

    

For many years, Newfoundland and Labrador had experienced a depressed economy. Following the collapse of the cod fishery during the early 1990s, the province suffered record unemployment rates and the population decreased by roughly 60,000. Due to a major energy and resources boom, the provincial economy has had a major turnaround since the turn of the 21st century. Unemployment rates decreased, the population stabilized and had moderate growth. The province has gained record surpluses, which has rid it of its status as a "have not" province. Economic growth, gross domestic product (GDP), exports and employment resumed in 2010, after suffering the impacts of the late-2000s recession. Total capital investment in the province grew to $6.2 billion, an increase of 23.0% compared to 2009. GDP reached $28.1 billion, compared to $25.0 billion in 2009. Service industries accounted for the largest share of GDP, especially financial services, health care and public administration. Other significant industries are mining, oil production and manufacturing. The total workforce in 2010 was 263,800 people. Per capita GDP in 2008 was $61,763, higher than the national average and third only to Alberta and Saskatchewan out of Canadian provinces.

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